Appearing before the Delhi High Court, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri tendered an unconditional apology and expressed his deep respect for the judiciary. The reason for his appearance was a contempt of court case, where he was ordered to apologize for his tweets directed at the present Odisha High Court Chief Justice, S Muralidhar.
The then-Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, S Muralidhar, granted bail to Gautam Navlakha, the primary accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. Vivek Agnihotri protested against this decision through some tweets, which he later deleted upon being held in contempt of court. Despite this, the court summoned him to appear on March 16, 2023.
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In the previous hearing held on March 16, Vivek Agnihotri failed to appear before the court. In response, the court released a statement stating that he was summoned for being in contempt of the court and suggested that he could express personal remorse. The court further noted that a single affidavit may not be sufficient to express remorse. As a result, the court ordered Vivek to appear on April 10.
Vivek Agnihotri made accusations of favoritism against Justice S Muralidhar, alleging that he granted relief to activist Gautam Navlakha in the Bhima Koregaon violence case. The court had cancelled the house arrest and transit remand of Navlakha. In response to this decision, Vivek Agnihotri made a controversial comment directed towards Justice S Muralidhar.
Vivek Agnihotri alleged in a tweet that Usha Ramanathan, the wife of Justice S Muralidhar, was a close friend of Gautam Navlakha. As a result of this tweet, Vivek was held in contempt of court. It’s worth noting that Justice S Muralidhar served as a judge in the Delhi High Court from 2006 to 2020 and is currently serving as the Chief Justice of the Odisha High Court.